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Overflow

September 11, 2013

Greetings,

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.  If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings  we suffer.  And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.”  2 Corinthians 1: 3-7

This passage makes it very clear and confirms unto me that any real ministry and comfort only take place when our lives are subject to the same sufferings as those that we are attempting to minister to have to endure on a daily basis.  In other words if we want to be effective ministers we must be submerged in the culture and pain that others live in continually.  To be totally honest I think that most short term missions trips are pretty bogus.  In fact our whole lives are supposed to be an ongoing missions trip.  If you want to reach someone with the Gospel then you must live where they live, eat what they eat, work like they work, suffer what they suffer, and celebrate what they celebrate.  The only real way to serve is from WITHIN a group of people, and NOT from above them.  That is why the whole Clergy/Laity thing is bullshit.  The most effective way to make disciples is eye to eye, shoulder to shoulder,  hip to hip and knee to knee, and NEVER from the top down.

True ministry involves a total devotion to those that we serve; starting with Jesus.  When we serve like this we meet others needs out of the overflow of comfort and grace from our lives.  We can extend grace and healing because we have experienced it first hand and not because we read it in any book, including the Bible.   We can minister salvation to others because we have lived it in the very same environment as those who we would have receive it.  Sermons are just words unless we live lives that back up those words.

True fellowship and koinonia come from a shared life experience and not from any mission statement or plan.  If we would only be real about our struggles and shortcomings HE would put on display our overcoming of such obstacles to the benefit all those we share life with each day.  You want others to receive His grace and mercy?  Then just receive them yourself and then tell others just what it is like to know Him and His power.  The only way to make a difference in the lives of others is to allow Him to make such a difference in your life and then put you on display in their community.  I realize my words have been forceful today, but I am passionate about these things.

Love and….

Kirk Out !

 

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8 Comments
  1. Ramma permalink

    Oh wow, Christopher, this is true! “Overflow”, the abundance of His life that He gives us to be shared and passed on to those that our life touches, minute by minute. Thank you so much!

  2. Dear Chris, Praise the Lord for truth. Religion has co-opted the truth that might have been known about Jesus’ Good News, all for the support of itself. Jesus’ power cannot be usurped for any human enterprise. All of this information is from God our Father. These truths we hold as self evident to all who wish to hear the truth.

    For all who choose to remain under the yoke of slavery, and deception, there is nothing that we can do for them. But for all who seek God with a sincere heart, our message is clear… God loves you individually, not as a means to support a greater end (church system), no, He loves you just because you are alive. He has no need of anything from you. He loves you and has already supplied all that you and I will ever need because God has reconnected a lost world with Himself. Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find.

    You and I, every living creature, is reborn from above by God’s Son and God’s love. This message is not popular with church leaders, for there is nothing they can add to Christ’s finished work. There is no righteous way to control and manipulate people any longer. There is no way to extract worship for the elevation of church leader’s egos, there is no longer any way to shame people into giving church leaders their free labor and financial contributions. There is no higher and lower believers/ family members.

    You have suffered much, and you have much to share out of the depth of your experience. I thank God for your boldness, and your friendship. God’s richest blessing my dear brother.

    • "BK" permalink

      Amen, Marc. Been waiting for you to post again to tell you I read your book Did God Invent Church and appreciated a couple of things especially. One is that you don’t go on and on how ‘nobody has ever written about this before!’ (I’ve read books on the historical creation of Christianity as we know it since the 60’s) and that you said it simply. In fact, more simply than any of the other books I’ve read. I ordered five to give away and have been doing so. Blessings on you too, brother, “BK”

      • "BK" permalink

        Marc! I am so sorry! I just noticed I put the wrong title to your book, even though the ‘thought’ was right. Please forgive me. I really have passed them as an excellent and helpful read.
        “BK

  3. "BK" permalink

    Just yesterday I was having a conversation with you in my head (spirit?). I was thinking about your post about coming through the PTSD and saying ‘darkness endures for a night but joy comes in the morning’ and I was quoting the same verse you used here and saying how much you are able to ASSURE people this is true due to your own experience of suffering. Amen to all you say. I am a firm believe in our LIFE is a missionary journey….hungry, empty, suffering folk are all around us and if we stay sensitive to His opening a door we can minister (dispense) Christ to them. Love you, brother, “BK”

  4. Marc, You honor me dear brother and I deeply love and appreciate you. HE has granted you much love, truth and wisdom to share with whosoever will.

  5. Chris, your chosen scripture at the beginning is what I preached on (in my traditional church days!) the very first Sunday after my wife and I had recovered from acute clinical burnout/depression – that’s 20 years ago now! Today, by grace alone, we continue to minister as ‘wounded healers’ (Henri Nouwen). Like you, we got the t-shirt…

  6. bill permalink

    Chris, you mention at the end to be real about struggles and shortcomings…..

    This brings back to my attention the words of The Master that have really gripped me over the years, “My strength is made complete in weakness.” After hearing these words Paul says that he will, “boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ will overshadow me.”

    It appears that the *dunamis* power of Christ is seeking out vessels of weakness to fill up. TRUE SUBSTANCE is revealed fully in it’s vessel. Whether it’s “Wine that makes glad the hearts of men, Oil that makes his face to shine”, or “Bread that strengthens men’s hearts,” the substance of Christ is incomplete without it’s vessel. He can only be truly brought to the nations IN proper vessels.

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